Collinsville Farmers Market
After much consideration, our committee has determined that the best way to serve you this year is through a “virtual” market. In coming to this decision, we considered the needs of the market’s vendors; the guidelines that are currently in place from the CDC, the state Department of Agriculture, and the Farmington Valley Health District; and – most importantly – your safety and experience at the market.
Our committee did not take the decision to go virtual lightly. Over the past three months, we have been reviewing the rules and regulations released by the CDC and the CT Department of Agriculture, and consulting with other markets in the area to understand their concerns and plans. We also considered different options to hold a physical market; including utilizing the entire Town Hall parking lot or moving to the parking lot at Canton High School. Each of these options came with traffic challenges, but they weren’t the only ones. Going to the Collinsville Farmers Market this year, in any form, would be fundamentally different from what you are used to. Not only would you be standing in line for an extensive period of time just to enter the market, but you would also have to wait in more lines to purchase from your favorite vendors. There would be no live music to entertain you while you wait, and your four-legged friends wouldn’t be able to keep you company. Most importantly, you wouldn’t be able to sample or handle your local produce and products before purchasing them.
These issues don’t affect just you as customers. The market is organized and operated by a small, all-volunteer nonprofit organization; and the challenges of managing crowd size, social distancing, and similar public health and safety protocols throughout the market were our biggest concerns. The consensus was that we do not have the funding, staffing or resources to implement a socially-distant market this year under these conditions.
We will be updating our website with our list of vendors and their contact information as soon as possible for you to visit them online. We will be posting what these vendors have available on our Facebook page, so that you can continue to interact with them as much as you are able. We will also provide links to our fantastic local musicians, so you can listen to and support them from the comfort of your own home! Finally, if the CDC/CT Department of Agriculture guidelines are updated and/or relaxed over the summer, we will definitely consider having an in-person market for part of our season. Any updates will be posted on our website and Facebook page.
Good news! Another group, the Canton Main Street Farmers Market, is operating a physical market in Collinsville on Sundays. Check out their Facebook page for more information!